Prime Minister John Key has defended the Tamaki state housing development project after protesters at the weekend promised to fight their eviction from the area.
More than 150 Housing New Zealand tenants in Glen Innes will be moved out of their homes when their high-value properties are sold to private developers to pay for more state housing developments.
Yesterday, about a dozen protesters moved into an empty house in Glen Innes, saying any privatisation or sell-down of the housing was an attack on the right to housing for all New Zealanders.
The group has said it will leave the property this morning, but promised that protests would continue until the Government withdrew its notices of eviction.
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Speaking to TVNZ's Breakfast this morning, Mr Key defended the evictions.
"I understand the frustration, but I think it's important to understand what the Government's trying to do, and that's a massive redevelopment,'' he said.
"It's all part of a programme to make sure we can house what is a very large and growing list of people that need to get into state houses.''
Mr Key said the project was started under the previous Labour government, and would eventually provide more than 150 extra homes.
Some have argued that the project is a way to move the tenants out of a wealthy area and put them into ghettos, but Mr Key said that was an incorrect perception by a few.
"I actually went through some of the redevelopment work that's taken place and they're great homes.''